Confused about what kind of equipment you need to set yourself up to run your coaching or professional business online? Or which are the best apps to use?
I get it. Especially with all the choices out there, it can be very easy to get overwhelmed or lost in YouTube tutorials on the right equipment or setup.
Here's the biggest piece of advice I can offer, having run an online coaching business for 7 years:
Keep it simple!
You don't need the best tech or complicated equipment to run your business.
You literally just need a laptop, webcam and microphone to get going. Use what you have and make your first 50-100k with that. From there, you can upgrade your kit and you'll know a lot more about what you actually NEED and will use.
The same goes for software and apps. It's SO easy to get lost thinking you need all the apps and trying to get different bits of software to talk to each other. The potential for time wastage is HUGE. (Trust me, I have wasted far too many hours on this!).
For me, a non-tech person, keeping it as simple as possible has been one of the best decisions I have made in moving my business online. Below I'll tell you what I use and why but whatever you decide to use, just make sure the software supports your business and doesn't suck the life out of it (and you!).
The list below is literally just what I use. I've been asked more times than I can count about my equipment setup and, as I've just moved into a new office space and had to adapt my equipment, I thought I would put it out there for anyone who is interested. Note: There are NO affiliate links in the equipment list.
This year I upgraded to a MacBook Pro 14 inch (2022 model). Why? Because I found that the previous MacBook Pro (13") couldn't keep up with the video streaming and every time I did a LIVE video, the laptop's fan would set off and make enough noise that my microphone picked it up and I had a constant whirring in the background. The newer MacBook Pro doesn't have this issue and I've been streaming live videos without any additional noise.
My laptop sits on a BoYata laptop stand which you can get on Amazon. I also have a Logitech wireless keyboard and a Lenovo 21.5" screen. Really, these are items of personal preference based on how you want to configure your setup - none of them are actually *necessary*.
I have been using a dslr camera for 4 years now. The first one I used was a Panasonic G-70 with a fixed 20mm lens to create a nice, blurry background. That camera served me well but as my new office space is a lot smaller than my previous space, I needed a different lens and decided a simpler dslr camera would be more efficient. So I now use the Sony ZV-E10 with the kit 16-50mm lens and it's perfect for the small office space I have and super easy to use. Both Panasonic and Sony offer apps that allow you to control the camera remotely. An alternative to the Sony that I was seriously considering and would recommend if you're starting out and not a tech person is the Sony ZV-1.
I also have a Logitech C920 webcam for when I am away from my office and need to take video calls. this little webcam is super powerful and provides a much nicer picture than the MacBook's in-built Facetime camera. It automatically provides a professional-looking image so if a dslr camera feels a step too far, whether technically or financially, I'd just invest in a small webcam like this and it'll be absolutely fine.
For years now I have used the Blue Yeti Microphone. I love it. It makes my voice sound amazing and is plug-and-play simple to use. If I'm honest, I have considered changing to either the Blue Yeti Nano or the Rode VideoMic Pro but that's more about reducing the size of my equipment in my smaller office space and not about sound quality.
If you are starting out and don't want to spend a lot, many of my colleagues rave about the Blue Snowball. I think anyone you choose will be fine and better than your computer's mic.
I've just switched from having LED panels on tripods to using the Elgato Key Light Air. At some point I will probably supplement my current setup with an Elgato Key Light - the main differences between the two are that the Key Light clamps to your desk and is bigger whereas the Key Light Air is on a stand that takes up desk space and is also smaller. Regardless, I'm loving the Elgato Key Light Air and the seamless light it provides.
There is an endless list of software and apps you could choose and use. Here I'm just going to tell you about the ones that I use and love.
This is an all-in-one software/app that ANY online business can use. I use it to host my website pages, sales pages, checkout, email marketing, client database, client notes, coaching programmes, courses, memberships, digital products, lead magnets, free content, blog, vlog, and it can do so much more. What I love about Kajabi is that it is SUPER simple to use and that you can do pretty much everything in one space without having to use something like Zapier to get different apps to talk to one another.
Kajabi also integrates with STRIPE and PAYPAL, which are the two payment providers I use to collect payment. Out of the two, I personally prefer STRIPE as I find it much more user-friendly and also feel it aligns more with my general business values.
Like any of these things, there are SO many other payment providers out there you could use. Some have lower fees than others and different refund policies so watch out for those two areas when selecting yours.
**Please note the links here to Kajabi are affiliate links, which means that should you click on them and decide to become a customer of Kajabi, I will receive a small commission from Kajabi as their way of saying thank you for referring a new customer, at no additional cost to you. I only decide to partner with companies that I personally use and LOVE myself so I can recommend them wholeheartedly.
The main thing I use to create content is Canva. It's just so easy and simple to create absolutely anything in Canva, plus you can access a whole bunch of free photos and graphics as well. I use it to create posts for Pinterest, Insta, FB, LinkedIn, as well as all my digital content, program content, free content, webinar materials, etc.
I also have a membership in The Template Tribe. This works together with Canva to provide all the templates you could ever want/use for your online business. I found that by using these templates, I was saving a ton of time when creating content - whether it was for my paid or free content. You just put your own info in and away you go.
**Please note the links here to The Template Tribe are affiliate links, which means that should you click on them and decide to become a member of The Template Tribe, I will receive a small commission from The Template Tribe, as their way of saying thank you for referring a new customer, at no additional cost to you. I only decide to partner with companies that I personally use and LOVE myself so I can recommend them wholeheartedly.
I have used Acuity for many years and find it simple and easy. Clients can book calls with me directly and I can easily embed calendars wherever I need them (eg. on a web page). Plus you can add intake questionnaires and link it to your Outlook or Apple calendar so everything is synced in real-time.
So, there you have it. I summary of the main bits of equipment and software that I use to run my online coaching business.
My own personal setup is probably slightly more complicated than I would recommend to someone who is just starting out, but if you've been at this for a while and are ready to "get serious" about your setup, I absolutely love all the bits and bobs I use and would recommend them without reservation.
I hope you've found this useful and remember, above all, keep it simple!
The tech is there to support you, not weigh you down.
If you find yourself getting bogged down in tech stuff, either simplify to the point you feel you know what you're doing tech-wise, or get help to learn the bits you're struggling with so they no longer slow you down. It's not worth spending hours and hours trying to DIY it.
You want to focus on running your business (which means bringing in revenue!) and NOT tech admin.
Have any questions about my setup or yours?
Feel free to send me an email at [email protected] where I'll be happy to answer you personally as best as I can.
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